Dave Coulier on Hearing Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’: ‘I Think I May Have Really Hurt This Woman’

What gave it away, Uncle Joey? The scratching her nails down someone else's back and hoping you feel them?

Dave Coulier on Hearing Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’: ‘I Think I May Have Really Hurt This Woman’
You can see where this was headed. Photo:Ron Galella (Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette’s iconic 1995 breakup anthem “You Oughta Know” has fueled decades of “You’re So Vain”-style speculation about the identity of the dickwad who inspired it, but the most obvious candidate has always been third-best Full House father figure Dave Coulier. In a SiriusXM interview Tuesday, Coulier described the first time he heard the song on his car radio. His first thought: “This is a really cool hook.” His second? “Oh no, I can’t be this guy.”

Reader: He could definitely be that guy. Coulier and Morissette dated for two years, starting in 1992 when he was 33 and she was just 18 years old. Jagged Little Pill was released in 1995, a year after they broke up. And while plenty of art isn’t autobiographical, Morissette has said that the song was about a real relationship she had with a particular guy, so the guesswork it has inspired isn’t all complete bullshit.

While Morissette has denied that “You Oughta Know” was about Coulier, he’s pointed to specific details from their relationship that he says match the song. His former co-star and roommate Bob Saget backed him up on at least one story, according to Us Weekly:

As it turns out, Saget himself was actually with Coulier when he hung up on the singer in the early 90s, which later inspired a lyric in the song. (“I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner,” she wrote. “It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced.”)
“I was at his house and he said, ‘Alanis just hung up on me and said sorry for calling you during dinner,’” Saget recalled. “I was at his house when she said that to him.”

I, for one, truly hope Morissette is telling the truth—it’s always been tough to square the passionate rage of “You Oughta Know” with…Uncle Joey, who was definitely one of the least sexually magnetic figures from the TGIF lineup.

After listening to the entirety of Jagged Little Pill, Coulier was pretty convinced that he held the title of Mr. Duplicity. “There was a lot of familiar stuff in there that her and I had talked about,” he said in the Tuesday interview. “Like [in ‘Right Through You’] ‘your shake is like a fish.’ I’d go, ‘Hey, dead fish me,’ and we’d do this dead-fish handshake. And so I started listening to it and I thought, ‘Ooh, I think I may have really hurt this woman.’ And that was my first thought.”

There you have it. All it took was one of the best-selling albums of all time to make Uncle Joey aware that his teenage ex-girlfriend might have suffered some emotional fallout from their relationship. I wonder how other exes have managed to get through to him. Skywriting?

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